krishna voice august 2017.pdf
The Dearest Friend
Man looks to woman, and woman looks to man. The teachings of the boy
devotee Prahlada Maharaja explain that we're looking in the wrong place.
A lecture by
His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Founder-Acharya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness
Today I shall tell you the history of a boy devotee whose name is Prahlada Maharaja. He was born in a family that
was stubbornly atheistic. There are two kinds of men in this world: one type is called the demon, and the other is
called the demigod. What is the difference between them? The main difference is that the demigods, or godly
persons, are devoted to the Supreme Lord, whereas the demons are atheistic. They do not believe in God because
they are materialists. These two classes of men always exist in this world. At the present moment, due to this Age
of Kali [Quarrel], the number of demons has increased, but the classification has existed since the beginning of
creation. The incident that I am narrating to you occurred very, very long ago, a few million years after the time
Prahlada Maharaja happened to be the son of the most atheistic person—and the most materially powerful as
well—so you will be interested to hear this history. Because the society was materialistic, the boy had no opportunity
to glorify the Supreme Lord. The characteristic of a great soul is that he is very eager to broadcast glorification of
the Supreme Lord. Lord Jesus Christ, for example, was very much eager to broadcast the glorification of God,
but demoniac people misunderstood him and crucified him.
Prahlada Maharaja was a five-year-old boy, and when he was in school, as soon as there was a recreation period,
when the teacher was off, he would say to his friends, "My dear friends, come on. We shall speak about Krishna
consciousness." I am just opening a scene. This is in the Srimad-Bhagavatam, Seventh Canto. The devotee
Prahlada is saying, "My dear boys, my dear friends, this is the time, in this young age, to prosecute Krishna
consciousness." Before that, he had held discussions with his little friends, but they said, "Oh, we shall play now.
Why take up this Krishna consciousness?" In answer to this, Prahlada is stating, "If you are intelligent, then you
must begin Krishna consciousness from childhood."
Srimad-Bhagavatam offers bhagavata-dharma, or scientific knowledge about God. Bhagavatam means the Supreme
Personality of Godhead, and dharma means the regulative principles of understanding Krishna consciousness.
This human form of life is very rare. It is a great opportunity. Therefore Prahlada says, "My dear friends, you are
born as civilized human beings, so this is the greatest opportunity." Although I can't predict the exact length of my
life, it's calculated that in this age the human body is meant to exist not more than a hundred years. But as the
Age of Kali advances, memory, mercy, religiousness, duration of life, and all other such assets decrease.
Although human life is temporary, you can achieve the highest perfection while in this human form. Why is this
so important? Because in this form you have the opportunity to understand the Supreme Lord, the all-pervading
Lord. By nature's law, a human body is given to you so that you can promote yourself to the spiritual life and go
back home, back to Godhead.
The ultimate goal of life is Vishnu. In another verse, Prahlada Maharaja will say, "People who are interested in
this material world, enamoured by the material energy, do not know what the goal of human life is." Why? They
have been enchanted by the glaring external energy. They have forgotten that they are spiritual energy. This is
explained later on, but here he says, "This life is an opportunity to understand the ultimate goal of perfection:
Vishnu." Why should we be very eager to know Vishnu, or God? Prahlada Maharaja gives a reason: "Vishnu is
the dearmost person."
We have forgotten this. We all seek some dear friend—everyone searches in this way. A man searches for dear
friendship in a woman, and a woman searches for dear friendship in a man. Or else a man searches in a man,
and a woman searches in a woman. Everyone searches after some dear friend, some sweet friend. Why? We
want the cooperation of a dear friend who will help us. This is part of the struggle for existence, and this is natural.
But we do not know that our dearmost friend is Vishnu, the Supreme Lord. We are searching after some dear
friend, but we do not know who this dear friend can be.
Those who have read the Bhagavad-gita will find this nice verse in the Fifth Chapter: "If you make friendship with
Krishna, the Supreme Lord, then you can understand perfectly that everything that exists in this world or other
worlds is all the property of Krishna. He is the proprietor and enjoyer of everything." Why are you performing
Krishna Voice, August 2017